This year has been a great one for psychedelic rock lovers as King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard released a record number of records. The band announced that they would release five albums in 2017 and with four out now, it looks like they are going to make it! Besides writing and recording, they also have been touring around the world.
Flying Microtonal Banana
The first album King Gizzard released this year was Flying Microtonal Banana in February. The overall sound is relatively calm in comparison to their earlier work. The thing that really distinguishes this album is the fact that they use microtonality: by playing in quarter-tone scales, the songs have a Middle-Eastern ring to it. For this album, the band had their guitars refretted to be able to play quarter tones. They even had one guitar custom made: the Flying Microtonal Banana.
Murder of the Universe
The second album of this year was quite a different style. Murder of the Universe uses firm rock riffs to support post-human lyrics. The album is subdivided in three parts that tell out-of-this-world tales. Three days before the official release in June, King Gizzard played parts of this record at a show in Paradiso, Amsterdam.
Sketches of Brunswick East
This one, conversely, is quite a jazzy album and is made in collaboration with Mild High Club. The title, Sketches of Brunswick East, refers to the Melbourne suburb Brunswick East where the album is recorded, and Miles Davis’ Sketches of Spain that formed an inspiration for the sound.
The fourth album of this year was released at in mid-November and is called Polygondwanaland. Herein, the band returns with a heavy rock sound. The album is free to download on their website. They even provide a vinyl master to print your own vinyl record.
King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard - Robot Stop (Nonagon Infinity, 2016)
As the year is coming to an end, the question if they will be able to release their fifth album is getting increasingly pressing. After Polygondwanaland, KGATWL released two songs on YouTube, sounding similar to the songs on Flying Microtonal Banana. My expectation is that they will round off this year with a second volume of Explorations into Microtonal Tuning. Frontman Stu Mackenzie stated that the last album will probably come “very, very late in the year”. Hopefully the band will make it and we can truly celebrate 2017 as the year of the Gizzard!
If any (or all!) of these albums sound like something you like, you have a chance to see the band live in Amsterdam in March 2018. For info & tickets click here.
[ written by cultural theorist and KGATLW-fan Mick Vierbergen ]